Health Information Technology in Rural Healthcare Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Updated/reviewed December 2017
- Need: To address care coordination and the integration of services in a rural, aging population
- Intervention: This program used health information technology and dedicated staff to manage clinical and community services for patients with complex needs.
- Results: Hospital readmissions have decreased, follow-up rates have increased, and patients' perceived health status has improved.
Updated/reviewed November 2017
- Need: Rural healthcare networks in Colorado and Washington felt the urgency to help their communities improve population health with better care at lower cost.
- Intervention: The Community Care Alliance was formed to specifically serve Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), employer groups, and other patient populations. Benefits for participants include quality improvement and practice transformation activities, comprehensive care coordination, outcomes measurement with quality reporting and data extraction, and analytics.
- Results: A total of 43 organizational members have received educational, networking, and technical assistance by being a part of the Alliance. Over 22,000 Medicare beneficiaries have been introduced to care coordination, leading to a decrease in emergency room visits, an increase in overall health, and lower medical costs.
Updated/reviewed June 2017
- Need: To provide rural Louisiana ambulance services with the necessary resources to establish electronic patient care reports and participation in both the state trauma registry and the state health information exchange.
- Intervention: A network was established providing equipment, software, training, data collection, data analysis, and support.
- Results: EMS Electronic Patient Care Reporting (ePCR) has been implemented, allowing members to participate in the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE), and to provide data to the statewide trauma registry.
Updated/reviewed June 2017
- Need: Children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN) face many barriers to coordinated, comprehensive, and culturally competent healthcare.
- Intervention: The North Carolina Innovative Approaches (IA) initiative works with families of CYSHCN and other community leaders to make systems changes in the state's healthcare system.
- Results: In seven years, IA has impacted 19 counties and has had a positive impact on increasing family engagement and community capacity for systems changes.
Updated/reviewed March 2017
- Need: A telecommunication network for healthcare providers in northeastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota to provide better healthcare to the region's rural residents.
- Intervention: The North Region Health Alliance was developed as a collaborative partnership and telecommunication infrastructure that electronically links 21 healthcare providers together.
- Results: The North Region Health Alliance provides quality telecommunication services to rural healthcare facilities as they work to provide quality healthcare.
Updated/reviewed January 2017
- Need: To fill the gaps in patient record sharing among rural Louisiana hospitals.
- Intervention: Electronic patient records are made accessible by providing participating members with equipment and software.
- Results: 29 hospitals have been equipped with the telemedicine equipment and a web site has been created for initial document and information sharing.
Updated/reviewed January 2017
- Need: To provide rural health workers with advanced health information technology (HIT) training and skills.
- Intervention: A program for health network members to increase HIT knowledge and prepare for Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist (CHTS) certification.
- Results: Participants learned how to adopt HIT within their own clinics, and 80% of students received certification as an HIT Clinic Workflow Redesign Specialist.
Updated/reviewed September 2016
- Need: To ensure the quality and sustainability of rural West Central Missouri's health services through the use of technology.
- Intervention: The Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County convened a Health Information Technology (HIT) workgroup to establish electronic medical and prescription records, telemedicine capabilities, and training for Lafayette County and surrounding areas.
- Results: The workgroup fully equipped a local emergency department with HIT, launched electronic prescriptions for nearly a dozen Lafayette County providers, and identified acute needs hindering the adoption of electronic health records.
Added February 2016
- Need: Rural communities in Florida often lack enough financial and technical support to fully implement health information technology (HIT) within their healthcare practices.
- Intervention: The Rural Health Partnership of North Central Florida founded an organization that helps rural providers understand the benefits, risks, and opportunities of HIT while providing the means to invest in HIT programs.
- Results: Through the efforts of CommunityHealth IT, 65% of rural hospitals served have achieved Meaningful Use.
Added November 2015
- Need: Technical and monetary assistance for rural healthcare facilities in Northeast Kentucky to reach Medicare and Medicaid's Meaningful Use (MU) standards for electronic health records (EHR) technology.
- Intervention: The Northeast Kentucky Regional Health Information Organization provided EHR funding, technological assistance, trainings, and programs to help facilities meet MU standards.
- Results: This program helped 68 medical facilities gain EHR capability and reach MU standards.
Last Updated: 12/6/2017